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Study Abroad

For more information about general CC International Studies and approved Off-Campus Programs, visit the International Programs website.

Guidelines for Studying Abroad:

These guidelines are only for OBE majors and students who definitely intend to declare an OBE major. Other majors should see their department chair.

Frequently Asked Questions

* How many credits can I receive? Generally at most 2 elective credits. A few programs have special credits, see notes below. No more than 1 unit of independent study from off-campus programs can be used towards the OBE major, and no more than 2 units from BE309, 409, 499, or independent study from off-campus programs can be used toward the OBE major. * Students are cautioned that a course must receive 4 semester hours to count as 1 full CC unit. Courses of only 3 semester hours will count as only 0.75 units of CC credit and will not fulfill an OBE requirement by themselves.* Do all the CC Approved Programs apply for the OBE major? No, we only accept specific programs, listed below. We do not accept programs that do not meet our requirements for sufficient biological content. Courses taken on off-campus programs prior to enrolling in college (for example, in a gap year or gap semester) do not count for the OBE major. No credit for School for Field Studies Programs or for ISDI Sustainable Development/Thailand.

* How can I get upper level credits? Programs that give upper level electives are listed below; in field programs you must have taken BE208 Ecology prior to going in order to receive upper level credit for a research course; BE220 Biostatistics and Experimental Design is strongly recommended prior to doing field programs. To receive upper-level credit for courses in traditional academic settings, the course must have at least two Biology courses as prerequisites and must be approved courses by the OBE Study Abroad Advisor.

* How do the grades I receive count on my transcript? Only ACM courses count in your GPA; other program courses will count as credit only. You must receive a grade of at least a C to receive credit.

* When is the best time to go abroad? Usually, your junior year, after you have taken the basic coursework in your major (organismal biology, ecology, chemistry, and at least 1 math class).

* Who approves my proposed program? You will need to fill out an online proposal/approval form with Study Abroad, who will then contact your advisor and the departmental abroad advisor for electronic approval via SUMMIT.

* If I do a field program with a research project component, who approves whether or not my project is acceptable for OBE credit? We require research projects be on a biological topic; when you return, you will be asked to share your project with a OBE faculty member, either your advisor or someone in the department with knowledge of your topic area. H/She will approve your project for OBE credit and make sure there is a note in your file.


1. Courses at other institutions in traditional academic settings

Students are urged to take required courses for the major at Colorado College. Although most requests to OBE for credit from non-CC courses come from third-party abroad programs, in unusual cases, you may seek credit for a required course taken in another formal university setting. You will be asked to document the course content through syllabi, copies of exams, textbooks and through discussion and/or a department member who teaches the course for which you want to substitute one elsewhere. Normally courses with Ecology in the title do not substitute for BE208 Ecology. Only courses that require at least 2 prerequisites in Biology may count as upper-level electives, and must be approved by the OBE faculty responsible for off campus credit.

Note: Substituting required courses in other departments, such as Chemistry, requires written approval by that Department and approval by your academic advisor in OBE.


2. Third Party Traditional Academic Programs that have courses appropriate for OBE Majors (see International Programs website for further information)

* Boston University Science Semester in Grenoble, Dresden, or Madrid: You must have taken Cell Biology (MB131 or equivalent) prior to going as well as CH107 and CH108; credits received are 1 lower level elective (for course in intermediate Cell Biology) and CH250.

* DIS Denmark Program: no credit for health and medicine related courses or for Arctic Environmental Policy; possible credit, usually 1 lower-level elective, in other biological areas; students commonly take Marine Mammals (3 semester hours) plus Marine Mammal Lab (1 semester hour) for 1 CC unit. DIS courses are usually only 3 semester hours so students will need more than one course to cover 1 elective credit in OBE.

* IFSA-Butler: popular programs include those at James Cook University, Australia, and Otago, New Zealand. Check semester hours and prerequisites for courses. Often a good opportunity to be exposed to very different ecological systems and biota!


3. ACM Programs

No departmental paperwork is required for these programs, and the course work will transfer directly to your OBE major. However, well in advance of your program you should consult with the ACM website for deadlines and application procedure and the relevant ACM advisor (currently Marc Snyder for Costa Rica and Jim Ebersole for Tanzania) and with your OBE advisor about the suitability of these programs for your educational goals. We strongly recommend taking BE208 Ecology AND BE220 Biostatistics before attending either of these programs; you will benefit much more from the experience with the background obtained in these courses. This is particularly critical for students thinking about using their project as the basis for a senior thesis.

* ACM Tropical Research (Spring) Semester in Costa Rica. Successful completion of the program provides two units toward the OBE major. One of these will be for BE309/409 Research in Biology if the field project is on a biological topic The second unit will count as an upper-level elective (or as a lower-level elective if the student has not taken 208) Students also receive a third unit in Spanish, and a 4th unit of unspecified CC credit. Prior Spanish required.

* ACM Human Evolution & Ecology in Tanzania. Students who successfully complete this program will receive two units of credit toward the major. One unit will count as a lower-level elective, and the second will count as an upper-level elective if the research project is on a biological topic and you have taken BE208 taken prior to program.


4. Non-ACM field programs

* These programs generally provide 1-2 elective units, one of which will a research project. To receive credit, your project must be on a biological topic. Courses with Ecology in the title do not substitute for BE208 Ecology. To receive upper level elective credit for research classes, students must have taken BE208 prior to program (if not, 2 lower level electives are given)

* Biostatistics and Experimental Design is strongly recommended Boston University Ecuador Tropical Ecology: Prerequisites for the program are: 1 year of intro Bio, a course in Ecology, and 1 year college Spanish. Participants can receive 1 upper and 1 lower level elective in OBE (BE208 required for upper level credit).

* Sea Semester Oceans and Climate and Marine Biodiversity: These accepted programs target advanced science students. Prerequisites: a minimum of 3 lab science courses, including 1 at the 300-level or higher, or consent of instructor. Two CC units of credit toward the bio major may be given as follows: 2 upper level OBE electives for Oceans in the Global Climate Cycle and Directed Research for Oceans and Climate Program; 2 upper level electives for Advanced Topics in Biological Oceanography and Directed Research for Marine Biodiversity.

Note: No OBE credit will be given for other Sea Semester Programs (e.g. Colonization and Change in the Caribbean, Sustainability in Polynesian Culture, or Energy and the Ocean Environment).

* CC/Woods Hole Environmental Science Semester (at Woods Hole): Prerequisites are 1 year biology, 1 year chemistry, 1 year calculus (1 year generally means 2 blocks). This program will receive 2 upper level OBE electives. *Students who take the Mathematical Modelling of Ecological Systems course in this program can receive a third credit equal to the statistics/modeling requirement in OBE. Some statistical background recommended for this program, however. For students who have already fulfilled the statistics requirement, Mathematical Modeling in Ecological Systems may count as a lower level elective.

* CIEE Bonaire Program: 1 upper and 1 lower level elective.

* Duke University/Organization for Tropical Studies Semester in South Africa: 1 upper and 1 lower level elective.

* School for Field Studies, Wildlife Management, E. Africa: 2 lower-level electives.

* IES/USSF Quito Galapagos Program: 1 upper and 1 lower level elective

* Quest University/Canada: Each year, CC and Quest (also on the block plan) exchange a few students for 2 to 4 blocks. Credits vary so consult with Department Study Abroad advisor.